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    Los Negros Island (Hyane) Manus Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Location
Lat 2° 0' 0S Long 147° 25' 0E  Los Negros Island is located to the east of Manus and borders Seeadler Harbor. Known to the Japanese as "Hyane Island".

Wartime History
During April 1942, a relatively small Japanese base was established on Los Negros Island with minimal contact with the people of Manus, but did hire some Rossum villagers as guides and scouts. The locals were told by the Japanese that "the war was a fight amongst outside nations and the local people were best advised to stay in the safely of the hinterland." The German residents who remained on the island when then Japanese arrived were either killed or imprisoned. The Japanese called the island Hyane.

American mission against Los Negros
January 22 - March 7, 1944

On February 29, 1944 the US Army 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Brigade commanded by Brigadier General William C. Chase landed on the southern shore of Hyane Harbor near Momote Airfield. The first wave landed at 08:17 under naval bombardment and support from only three B-24s and nine B-25s that managed to locate the target area.

The US Army 1st Calvary Division landed opposite Momote Airfield, capturing the area by 10:00am. After dark, the Japanese counterattacked and encircled the Americans.

On March 1, 1944, four B-17 armed transports from the 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 375th Troop Carrier Squadron took off from Finschafen Airfield including B-17E "Spawn of Hell" 41-2662, B-17F "Super Snooper" 41-24420, B-17F "War Horse" 41-24548 and another B-17 made supply runs dropping weapons, ammunition, barbed wire and blood plasma to the troops, and strafing enemy positions.

On March 2, 1944 three armed transport B-17s made more air drops and supply runs including B-17E "Yankee Didd'ler" 41-2458, another B-17 and B-17F "Cap'n & The Kids" 41-24353 piloted by Captain A. J. Beck. Over the target, Beck was intercepted by four fighters, including a Ki-61 Tony.

On March 4, 1944 the remaining Japanese launched series of suicide charges against the Americans and are defeated.

Since Seeadler Harbor was an excellent anchorage, a huge US Naval base was established at Lombrum. This base was a staging area for future operations in New Guinea, and a portion of the Philippines Invasion fleet assembled in Adler Harbor, and staged through the Manus area. Thousands of buildings, shops and sheds were erected. Wharves were constructed in the harbor.

Momote Airfield (Hyane)
Built by the Japanese, expanded by American forces, still in use today as the island's airport.

Mokerang Airfield
Built by the Japanese, expanded by the Americans, disused today

Lombrum
Lat 2° 1' 60S Long 147° 22' 0E Located on Los Negros near the edge of Manus.

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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